Trampers located thanks to personal locator beacon after cold night in Tararuas

Trampers located thanks to personal locator beacon after cold night in Tararuas


Please attribute to Sergeant Fiona Read Police Search and Rescue

Two well-prepared trampers have been located after going into the Tararua ranges on Saturday night, 14 April.  The trampers got into difficulty due to adverse weather conditions some time later but they had a personal locator beacon and activated it while seeking shelter. 

Due to the adverse weather, their general location was identified only, not an exact location.

At about 9pm last night, 16 April, with the assistance of a crew from the Royal New Zealand Air Force’s No.3 Squadron, New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) staff managed severe turbulence and low cloud to transport three Police-led Search and Rescue teams into the search area on an NH90 helicopter.

They located the emergency beacon activated by the trampers, helping rescuers to find them at 1.30am this morning.  They were located cold tired and exhausted by SAR staff and a rescue dog.

This morning the men have been taken to a nearby Department of Conservation Hut -  Dundas Hut, where further assistance has been given to them, such as food and dry clothing. They have been assessed medically and they appear to be in good condition.

Another assessment was made during the night on their physical condition and the forecasted weather, and as a result, the plan is to use further assistance from the NZDF squadron to airlift them from the ranges, however the weather has not been ideal and this is yet to happen. The plan is for the team and the trampers to be taken off the mountain when the weather clears at a later date.


It’s always best to plan your trip, as these trampers did, because they were well-prepared.  In this case, a personal locator beacon was a good investment. 

Beacons can be a lifesaving tool as it means emergency services will be aware that something has happened much faster if you do get injured or lost, which they did in this case.  These beacons don't have to be purchased, they can be hired out on a day-by-day basis.

Here are some other tips for outdoor safety:

Becoming lost or injured happens, but there are things to do which will mitigate this risk and a little preparation will go a long way.

If you are fit then you are a lot more resilient if you do have a fall or suffer from an injury.
Follow the Outdoor Safety Code:

• Plan Your Trip
• Tell Someone Your Plans
• Be Aware Of The Weather
• Know Your Limits
• Take Sufficient Supplies


Issued by Police Media Centre